METHODS: Mice were initiated with single dose of 7,12-dimethylbenz[α]anthracene (DMBA) (390 nmol/100 μL) followed by, in subsequent week, repeated promotion (twice weekly; 22 weeks) with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) (1.7 nmol/100 μL). Annonacin (85 nM) and curcumin (10 mg/kg; reference) were, respectively, applied topically to DMBA/TPA-induced mice 30 min before each TPA application for 22 weeks. Upon termination, histopathological examination of skin, liver and kidney as well as genes and proteins expression analysis were conducted to elucidate the potential mechanism of annonacin.
RESULTS: With comparison to the carcinogen control, Annonacin significantly increased the tumor latency period and reduced the tumor incidence, tumor burden and tumor volume, respectively. In addition, it also suppressed tumorigenesis manifested by significant reduction of hyperkeratosis, dermal papillae and number of keratin pearls on skin tissues. Annonacin also appeared to be non-toxic to liver and kidney. Significant modulation of both AKT, ERK, mTOR, p38, PTEN and Src genes and proteins were also observed in annonacin-targeted signaling pathway(s) against tumorigenesis.
CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, results of this study indicate that annonacin is a potential therapeutic compound targeting tumor promoting stage in skin tumorigenesis by modulating multiple gene and protein in cancer signaling pathways without apparent toxicity.
METHODS: We performed electrophysiologic, biochemical, and biophysical experiments to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying calmodulin (CaM)-mediated Ca2+-dependent inactivation (CDI) of TRPC6. To address the pathophysiologic contribution of CDI, we assessed the actin filament organization in cultured mouse podocytes.
RESULTS: Both lobes of CaM helped induce CDI. Moreover, CaM binding to the TRPC6 CaM-binding domain (CBD) was Ca2+-dependent and exhibited a 1:2 (CaM/CBD) stoichiometry. The TRPC6 coiled-coil assembly, which brought two CBDs into adequate proximity, was essential for CDI. Deletion of the coiled-coil slowed CDI of TRPC6, indicating that the coiled-coil assembly configures both lobes of CaM binding on two CBDs to induce normal CDI. The FSGS-associated TRPC6 mutations within the coiled-coil severely delayed CDI and often increased TRPC6 current amplitudes. In cultured mouse podocytes, FSGS-associated channels and CaM mutations led to sustained Ca2+ elevations and a disorganized cytoskeleton.
CONCLUSIONS: The gain-of-function mechanism found in FSGS-causing mutations in TRPC6 can be explained by impairments of the CDI, caused by disruptions of TRPC's coiled-coil assembly which is essential for CaM binding. The resulting excess Ca2+ may contribute to structural damage in the podocytes.
MAIN METHODS: Forty-eight male albino mice were allocated into four different groups (n; 12 mice/group). Group (i): normal mice, Group (ii-iv) mice received escalating dosed/s of leflunomide (2.5, 5 or 10 mg/kg, p.o.) every 48 h for eight weeks. At the end of the study, mice were sacrificed, and blood samples were collected for determination of liver enzymes. Liver samples were collected; (1) formalin-fixed for histologic examination, (2) frozen for PI3K and mTOR genes PCR assays.
KEY FINDINGS: Results indicated a significant elevation of liver enzymes in leflunomide-treated mice (10 mg/kg); AST and ALT activities were 218.17 ± 6.83 U/L and 99.83 ± 9.82 U/L versus 130.5 ± 12.79 U/L and 44.72 ± 3.58 U/L in the vehicle group. Additionally, histopathological examination revealed higher necro-inflammatory scores in leflunomide-treated mice. Immunohistochemistry indicated dose-dependent increased staining of TLR4 and caspase 3. Furthermore, leflunomide-treated mice (5 or 10 mg/kg) showed greater staining for NFκB compared to vehicle control. RT-PCR results revealed upregulations in genes expressing PI3K and mTOR by leflunomide.
SIGNIFICANCE: The current study highlights the possible role of TLR4-PI3K/mTOR/NFκB in the pathogenesis of leflunomide-induced hepatic injury. A better understanding of mechanisms of leflunomide-induced hepatotoxicity may be of translational implication for the predictive, preventive and therapeutic purposes.